Foxconn to hire more workers in China

File image of the Foxconn sign at the firm's factory in Shenzhen Foxconn says hiring more workers means current employees will do less overtime

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Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer and maker of the Apple iPhone, iPod and iPad, says it plans to hire up to 400,000 workers in the next 12 months.

The move follows a spate of suicides at its factories in China.

Officials said it would enable the company to cut employees' overtime while maintaining production.

Foxconn is part of Hon Hai Precision, the world's largest maker of consumer electronics.

It is one of the biggest employers in China.

Moving inland

The company issued a statement saying it will hire 3-400,000 workers in China over the next year so that it can cut the amount of overtime its workers do and still keep up with production demands.

The decision to increase staff numbers follows the suicides of 13 Chinese employees by jumping from buildings earlier this year at Foxconn factories in China.

The suicides raised concerns about the treatment of staff, many of whom work overtime because they need the extra money.

Foxconn denied the suicides were work-related and that it mistreats its workers. But it admitted that its workers do more overtime than the maximum permitted by Chinese law.

It argued that many major manufacturers do the same thing.

The suicides threatened to tarnish the image of top global brands, such as Apple, Dell and Nokia, for which Foxconn produces laptops and smartphones.

Earlier this year, Foxconn announced wage increases and plans to open factories in China's inner provinces so that workers, many of whom come from these areas, can be closer to their families.

The new hirings will boost Foxconn's workforce in China to 1.3 million.

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